NCRFW launches search for outstanding LGU, judges

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), the government’s machinery for women’s advancement, will start its year-long search for outstanding LGUs and judges in recognition of the concrete efforts of the local government units (LGUs) and members of the judiciary in promoting women’s human rights and in addressing gender-based violence.

As a kick-off activity of the annual observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women on November 25, the NCRFW with its partners the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Children (IACVAWC), and Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee (VAWCC), will spearhead the Search for Outstanding VAW-Responsive LGUs and the Gender Justice Awards II to be launched at the Astoria Plaza Hotel, Ortigas in Pasig City from 8 am to 12 noon.

The “Search for the Outstanding VAW-Responsive LGUs” is a year-long search which aims to recognize innovation of programs and methods of addressing VAW. The activity is open to all barangays, municipalities and cities with clear policies, programs, services and interventions, and implementing and monitoring mechanisms to address VAW.

Meanwhile, the Gender Justice Awards II hopes to raise the level of awareness of judges in the Philippines on the need to render gender sensitive decisions regarding VAW cases. The awards will recognize four Gender Sensitive Judges from the NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Two special awards will also be given for the Most Outstanding Gender Sensitive Judge and the Gender Sensitive Judge from the Shar’ia Courts. This activity is geared to complement the theme for this year’s celebration of the 18-day Campaign which highlights good governance and women’s access to justice.

“These two awards want to bring across the message that LGUs as frontline service providers, especially at the Barangay level should respond quickly and sensitively to VAW victim-survivors. At the same time, judges must understand and consider the unequal power relations between women and men in the family and the society when dealing with VAW cases. As court decisions have great impact on victim-survivors of VAW, misconceptions about rape and other forms of VAW must be corrected to be able to render gender-sensitive decisions on VAW cases,” NCRFW Chair Myrna T. Yao said.

The annual 18-Day Campaign to End VAW will run from November 25 to December 12. As part of the commemoration, the First National Congress of the Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere (MOVE) is scheduled on December 5 and will be simultaneously held in four sites namely the Astoria Plaza Hotel (Metro Manila), Quezon Province (Luzon), Aklan (Visayas) and Davao City (Mindanao). These sites will be linked through video conferencing. MOVE is a group of caring, pro-active and principled men dedicated to make the Philippines free from VAW. MOVE firmly believes that VAW violates the inherent dignity of a person and has no place in a civilized society.

With the theme “CEDAW Ng Bayan: ReMOVE VAW!” this year’s 18-Day Campaign to End VAW will highlight the critical roles of government, at the macro level, and of men, as individuals and groups, at the micro level, in curbing and responding sensitively to VAW.